I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Nick Lindberg

This is the fortieth post in my blog series in which I feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.) Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the 4-time Salesforce Certified and Salesforce MVP, Nick Lindberg.

Nick Headshot

What’s your job title? Director of Nonprofits, Redpath Consulting. (EFD – So you direct nonprofits? How do you know where to you tell them to go?)

What does that mean you do? Dreaming and building tools via Salesforce for nonprofits all while running the team at Redpath to carry out our nonprofit projects. (EFD – Oh!!!  I get it now. You help nonprofits become more connected to their donors and clientele, while making them lean, mean, efficient machines. Except for the mean part…I hope!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been in the Ecosystem for over 7 years now. Five years as an accidental admin for a nonproft, and now 2.5 years, so far, as a partner.  (EFD – You and I have been in the ecosystem about the same amount of time!)

Bacon or sausage? It’s Bacon or Nothing!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? To me, it is all about who you know. By knowing others, you have a group of people you can lean on and look to for knowledge. There is no way one individual can know everything there is to know about Salesforce or life for that matter. Collectively, through who you know, there is a greater chance of building out the what and potentially discover things you didn’t even know were possible. (EFD – I don’t think I could have said it better myself.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I first heard of this amazing Salesforce Kevin Bacon character also known as Eric during User Group Roundtable calls back in the beginning of 2014. During the calls, there would be a lot of conversation about various ways to run a User Group or referencing previous conversations. He was the person who would chime in and say he had a bookmark of the conversation topic and would in turn post them to the Success Community after the call so we all knew where the information was. From those calls, I just knew he was one solid fella and I needed to get to know more about him.

Afterwards, there were many occasions that the relationship really started to take off. From exchanging tweets back and forth, to chatting about how awesome it is to be an Admin after the Admin Keynote during Dreamforce 2014, to many awesome conversations during the MVP Summit 2015 & Midwest Dreamin’ 2015.

Over the past year our relationship has blossomed into a friendship. He’s really taken on #raynasunset as a way of remembering my daughter Rayna. It seems at least once a week there is a post by him or reposting someone else’s sunset with the hashtag. Beyond that, we had the chance to organize Midwest Dreamin’ 2016 together and our weekly Friday calls were something I’d look forward to each week. There have been countless times I’ve gotten to know more about him both professionally and personally and realized just how awesome he is. What else can I say, he’s a solid fella. (EFD – STOP IT! You’re embarrassing me….and this post is supposed to be about YOU, not ME!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? Where to begin. There are so many :). The one I like to use is when I was growing up, it took me seven years to pass the beginners swimming class. I was a foot taller than my instructor. I was determined to pass no matter what. (EFD – I can safely say I do not know any adult that I’m a foot taller than…sadly, I do know many who are a foot or more taller than I am!)

You can find Nick on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Gaurav Kheterpal

This is the thirty-eighth post in my blog series in which I feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.) Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the Salesforce Mobile Architect and Salesforce MVP, Gaurav Kheterpal.

gaurav-kheterpal-salesforce-mvp

 

What’s your job title? Head – Mobility at Metacube. (EFD – I had to Google that one: Metacube is a Software Engineering Services company with experience in developing enterprise applications for a wide spectrum of domains including global trade management, supply chain analytics, manufacturing analytics, business continuity planning, CRM, content management and eCommerce.)

What does that mean you do? I head the mobile practice at Metacube – leading several native and hybrid app development projects, a majority of which involve Salesforce and/or Heroku. I’m involved in day to day account management, technical architecture, design and overall well being of multiple projects. Apart from that, I work as a community evangelist – I love to be involved in organizing and speaking at community-driven tech events and meetups all the time. I play a key role in mentoring new hires for Force.com development. (EFD – It sounds like you wear many hats. That seems to be a growing trend in the Salesforce ecosystem.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I started off with Salesforce in 2007 so it’s been 9+ years on this amazing journey and still counting. We’re a Salesforce partner (Product Development Outsourcing). It’s been a very rewarding journey for me as well as the company – I was recognized by Salesforce as a Developer Success Story in June 2015 and I’ve spoken at leading events such as Dreamforce (every year since 2012) and Salesforce World Tour (2015). I lead the Jaipur DUG in the pink city of India!  (EFD – Wow!  You’ve made quite the career for yourself. Congratulations!)

Bacon or sausage? Eww…a pork product?  No thank you!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? It’s a bit tricky but I’d go with who you know and what you and they collectively know. After all, it’s a community and the essence is collaborative learning. (EFD – I used to think it was all about who you know, because chances are someone you know, or someone they know can answer all the questions, but the longer I write this blog series, the more I’m thinking the two are equal and intertwined.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I think we’ve known each other virtually for quite some time now. I’ve obviously followed you as an inspirational figure in the community – a Salesforce MVP and I’m hoping you’ve noticed me do a few things for the community as well. It’s also helped that we both are User Group leaders. (EFD – We connected on LinkedIn in September, 2012, which was even before I was first named an MVP, so our original connection must have been either the user group leader connection or simply Salesforce community interaction.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? As a child, I’ve acted in several TV plays and I’m still a part of a hobbyist theatre group focused on social awareness on several grass roots problems in India and globally. (EFD – You’re quite the person…doing good things all over the place!)

You can find Gaurav on Twitter.

Tahoe Dreamin’ – From Lake Michigan to Lake Tahoe

I planned my trip to Tahoe Dreamin’ about a month before the event. I was looking forward to seeing how the Western US took my Midwest Dreamin’ concept from the big city of Chicago to the ski slopes and mountains of South Lake Tahoe. Just a few short weeks later, I had accepted my new role as Advocacy Manager for Apttus, which suddenly meant most of my Tahoe Dreamin’ experience would come from interactions with people who visited the Apttus booth in the expo.

From my own, somewhat selfish point of view, I was not looking forward to that because I thought it meant I would not have time to spend with all my friends from the Salesforce community. For once in my life I was absolutely thrilled to be wrong. In reality, it meant that I got to spend time with NEW friends during the event, then new & established friends after-hours.

The Salesforce community is what makes events like Tahoe Dreamin so amazing. This event was not organized by Salesforce, rather it was organized and run by a small group of Salesforce community members, a small but highly motivated and passionate group of Salesforce customers and partners led by Bill Greenhaw, a Salesforce MVP and Leader of the Sacramento User Group.

Because of my new role, I did not have the opportunity to see the keynote, given by Shawna Wolverton, Vice President of Product Management, Platform at Salesforce, and Adam Seligman, Senior Vice President, Developer Relations, Salesforce, because our booth was busy, which is most certainly a good thing! From what others told me it was a great session with some flair that many of us would normally associate with the one and only, Parker Harris, a.k.a. Lightning Man. The keynote had Shawna and Adam wearing some awesome snowsuits!

Adam and Shawna Snowsuits

One that the next day Samantha Ready wore on the slopes!

Samantha Snowsuit

But fun in the snow isn’t what Tahoe Dreamin’ was really all about.

You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out. You do the hokie poike and you turn yourself around, that’s what it all about! 

What Tahoe Dreamin’ was really all about was the Salesforce Community, making connections and sharing knowledge.

Liz Gladstone put it this way: “Tahoe Dreamin’ provided the inspiration and community that Dreamforce does but in a setting intimate enough to talk with every single person.”

Shonnah Hughes had this to say: “Take Aways: Volunteer if you can, Speak up, get to know someone you don’t already know, Go to the after the event parties or gather your own group to party, ask questions, take lots of pictures and have the mind set that you are there to learn and have fun!”

Cynthia Saalfeld said this: ” I loved it!  I liked how well distributed the sessions were, not too short and not too long with a good break time in between sessions giving you time to visit the vendors and partners.   Moreover, talking to the speakers was possible and much more intimate than Dreamforce.”

Stuart Edeal (who came to Tahoe all the way from Minnesota!) wrote his own blog post about Tahoe Dreamin’.  He summarized the event this way: Attend regional events, and volunteer if you can. Share your challenges & successes. Accept invites for lunch, coffee, walks, etc. Ask questions, set goals, and enjoy yourself!

A few other comments I heard were: “Great venue”; “Fabulous food”; “Well organized”; “A little smoky at times, but it was in a Casino, with awesome scenery!”; “Bill Greenhaw and his team did a fantastic job pulling the event together”

I guess it’s safe to say I feel a little bit like a proud grandfather, having just watched a grandchild succeed gracefully in his first piano recital. Great job, Team Tahoe Dreamin’! I hope this becomes an annual event!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Celeste Keller

This is the twenty-first post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the quadruple Salesforce certified Salesforce Saint, also known as Celeste Keller.

image

What’s your job title? Senior Salesforce Administrator, Puppet Labs (EFD – Puppet Labs?  Do they make puppets and marionettes? No…I checked LinkedIn. Puppet Labs “develops automation software that frees IT professionals from mundane tasks, giving them time to develop innovative technology strategies that help their companies grow.” And that’s a direct quote from their LinkedIn profile!)

What does that mean you do?  Everything! User support, new configuration from requirements gathering to rollout, a little bit of Apex (mostly stealing code), release communications after each Salesforce release… (EFD – Ahhh…sounds like you’re a “Solo Admin”, and stealing code is cool, just don’t get caught!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)?   I became a Salesforce admin in 2007 – I believe what my boss said was, “Learn this thing, and tell the rest of us how to use it.” Back then, I was doing Sales Support and random other things, and it was just one of many hats that I wore. Over time, it became my actual job – and the awesome career that I now love. In 2012, I started a Salesforce blog – because when I geek out over something cool that I just learned, there’s usually no one around to share it with! Shameless plug: check it out my blog.  (EFD – You are what some people might call an “Accidental Admin”…but you’ve gone even further with that. As for the shameless plug for your blog, if you hadn’t mentioned it, I would have! It’s a must read, in my opinion!)

Bacon or sausage?  Can’t I have both? Don’t make me decide.

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Both – in a perfect world what you know, but its not realistic to think knowing someone doesn’t help 🙂 (EFD – Uhhh…so that’s a “What” or is it a “Who”?  I might be slightly confused here.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I’m pretty sure it was the Success Community, and in the fall of 2014. (EFD – “Pretty sure”?  I guess I really made a great impression on you! {That’s sarcasm, in case you couldn’t tell}  Seriously, I’m not sure I really remember either!  We are both pretty active on Twitter and in the Success Community, but I think the first time I met you in person might have been at Dreamforce 2015! )

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? This will be surprising to anyone who works with me as well, and has seen me in my uniform of jeans + t-shirt over the years. I have season tickets to the Opera, and love to get decked out in a gown and tiara for every show! (EFD – I have never been to the Opera…I think I have this stereotype that all Operas are in Italian and that I wouldn’t understand it.)

You can find Celeste on Twitter, and please be sure to check out her blog!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Lauren Jordan

This is the twentieth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the 4-time Salesforce Certified Leader of the Raleigh, NC, Women in Technology Group & Salesforce MVP, Lauren Jordan.

Lauren Jordan

What’s your job title? Senior BSA, Red Hat (EFD – For the record, BSA = Business Systems Analyst, right?)

What does that mean you do? I just started on 1.4.16, but I am working on a team to improve the internal user experience as well as work on other internal projects.  (EFD – Ooo….a Shiny, Brand New Job, that for the readers benefit you hadn’t even started working at the time this post was written. Oh, hey!  That gives me an idea for another blog series…sorry, I’m not telling anything more about that idea now. Give me a couple of months to get those thoughts in order and create the new blog series.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been on the Salesforce platform for 6.5 years.  (EFD – That’s about the same length as my Salesforce lifespan.)

Bacon or sausage?  Can’t I have both? Don’t make me decide.

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Both – in a perfect world what you know, but its not realistic to think knowing someone doesn’t help 🙂 (EFD – Uhhh…so that’s a “What” or is it a “Who”?  I might be slightly confused here.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I’m pretty sure it was the Success Community, and in the fall of 2014. (EFD – “Pretty sure”?  I guess I really made a great impression on you! {That’s sarcasm, in case you couldn’t tell}  Seriously, I’m not sure I really remember either!  We are both pretty active on Twitter and in the Success Community, but I think the first time I met you in person might have been at Dreamforce 2015! )

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I have my cosmetologist license – Yes I used to do hair and nails.  I did say that in a community feed one day – not sure who picked up on it though. (EFD – I wonder if you can do anything with my hair…so my children will realize I still have some left!)

You can find Lauren on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Elna Miller

This is the eighteenth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the force behind the Salesforce Goodie List, Elna Miller.
image

 

What’s your job title? Customer Success Strategy Senior Manager, Salesforce.

What does that mean you do? I help produce and run a global, interactive, community-integrated webinar extravaganza. I also like to hang out in the Success Community where I serve as a moderator for several groups and share my pet project, the Goodie List. (EFD – I love the Goodie List.  It’s always full of great things! And the Webinar series is loaded with awesomeness too. **Links to the webinar series and a few other “Goodies” are at the bottom of this post. )

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? Since 2009. I started as customer, as an admin/BA for a new implementation, then took a break to move cross country and have a set of twin girls before starting at Salesforce a little over four and a half  years ago. (EFD – Hmm, you took a break to move and have twins, and then you go back to work. I suppose now you work to get a break from the twins??)

Bacon or sausage?  Can’t I have both?  Don’t make me decide!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  What you know prepares you to impress who you know. (EFD – I knew the who and the what were connected, but I never thought about it that way before.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I believe we met at the first MVP Summit in 2014 and then we were lucky enough to recruit you as a guest host on one of our Premier Adoption webinars. Examples you contributed remain in the webinar presentation to this day! (EFD – I think we met virtually before the MVP Summit in 2014, but it was great to meet you in person at the Summit, and a total blast to help out with the webinar!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I am not allowed to give blood here in the US because I lived in the UK for more than 6 months during the “mad cow” era. (EFD – Uh…Moo?)

Here’s the scoop on the webinar series and some of Elna’s favorite groups on the Success Community:

New to Salesforce:
Intermediate/Advanced:
*exclusively for Premier customers
Community Groups and Hot Spots:

You can find Elna on Twitter.

I always give my featured community members a chance to review and comment on the blog post before I publish it (Yeah, I’m nice like that!) and in response to my “Twins” comment, here’s what Elna shared, and I can personally relate to that, living in a house with three teen-aged girls! (No offense to women intended at all…and if you are offended, I’m sorry. I’m expressing my opinion, and you are welcome to share yours!)

kids no-kids

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Claudio Castro

This is the seventeenth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the newest addition to the Salesforce Success Community Team, Claudio Castro.

CMC Headshot - Edited copy

 

What’s your job title? Community Manager – Success Community, Salesforce.

What does that mean you do? I’m the go-to person for all things Success Community internally and externally (in the Community)! I handle the day-to-day shtuff (admin tasks, campaigns, questions, spam, awareness) as well as long-term projects. (EFD – Ok…two things:  1 – I like how you talk “shtuff”…that’s a combination of “Shhh” and “stuff”, which means you get things done quitely. 2 – Uh, EXCUSE ME!  Handling spam is not “day-to-day”…ok, so it may be a daily occurrence, but keeping the community free of it is certainly a BIG deal! So on behalf of the entire Community….Thank you!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been with Salesforce an AMAZING three months now. (EFD – Whoa….that long already?  That must mean your orientation was being thrown headfirst into Dreamforce week. Ouch!)

Bacon or sausage?  Can’t I have both?  Don’t make me decide!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  It’s definitely both! Who you know will get you in the door and the what you know will get you past the door. There have definitely been instances where I’ve experienced or seen both. When it comes to the “what you know” aspect of it though, you’ve got to know your stuff. It’s like Shark Tank. Cool, you’ve got something to present to some amazing entrepreneurs, but if your product is crap, they won’t invest. (EFD – Ahhh…another Shark Tank fan….and a great analogy.)

How did our relationship start, and when? A couple weeks into my role, I don’t remember exactly when, but you (and the other members of the Community) welcomed me with open arms by engaging with me on the Success Community!! (EFD – I’ve got an idea…how about you make a trip to Chicago and see the Community in action first hand at Midwest Dreamin’ 2016?)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I LOVE music. I can’t live without it. I listen to anything that sounds good to my ears regardless of genre, although my favorites are R&B and Rap. (Yes, some Country included.) DVSN, Ryan Hemsworth, and Ty Dolla $ign are some artists I’ve been listening to lately. If you want a new recommendation or need some music for a certain mood, holla at me on Twitter! (EFD – There’s some really great musicians in the Success Community like Ryan Headley, to name just one.)

You can find Claudio on Twitter.